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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Fifteen: On the Ball, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Fifteen: On the Ball, pt. 2
It's Christmas day, and James has spent it relaxing with books. He's very calm on the occasion of his first date--until he gets to the palace and meets Elodie, who looks quite beautiful.

Table of Contents So Far

While they'd been researching Mischief Managed, James and Teddy had learned about a number of different historical times, since the fake Marauders' map could move them around in time and space (a spell which James dearly wanted to try on the real map). James had looked into the 1920s, and as he looked at Elodie, she seemed to have stepped from the pages of a magazine from the era. Her white robes came just past her knees, and shimmered with the motion of fringe. She'd enhanced this impression with a little fascinater in her hair, and slightly high heels with a little strap across them so they wouldn't fall off in the course of dancing. The shimmering white of the robes contrasted with her cloud of nearly black hair and dark eyes, and her lips, painted pink for the occasion. He looked down at his own plain black dress robes and felt quite dowdy.

"Wow," he said.

She pointed at the dress self-consciously and said, "My mother made it."

"She did a great job." James produced a corsage--he hadn't given much thought to it, and realized he was lucky she'd worn white, as it might have clashed with a color--and offered it to her.

She took it curiously. "Er... I don't know that I can pin it. The fringe. It's..." She shrugged to indicate a difficulty.

"Oh, right," James said. "Do you mind if I do a little magic on it?"

"It's all right for other people to do magic," she said, offering it back. He took it and transfigured the pin into a ribbon, which he tied around her wrist. She looked at it and smiled. "Thank you, James."

"You're welcome." There was no boutonnière in sight, so he took out the one Victoire had sent, and Elodie helped him pin it to his lapel.

"There," she said when she'd finsihed. "You're set. Now, if we can avoid a pig's blood shower, I think we should have a nice time."

"If anyone tries the pig's blood bit, I have a great umbrella charm."

The judges swept down the stairs, and Madam Maxime clapped her huge hands imperiously. "My dear students," she began, "I am so happy to see you looking so beautiful, and I hope you will enjoy the evening. I will ask you to enter the Grand Salon now, and to leave an aisle free in the center, for our champions to enter. We expect everyone to be on their best behavior tonight--and we expect that reporters will be here, to report on it one way or another." She smiled tightly, and James guessed that she was remembering a reporter who had sneaked into the last Yule Ball. He also guessed that reporters had been invited so that they would be known. Her smile became more real, and she said, "We want you to have a wonderful time, which you will always remember. And with that... Happy Christmas, and have fun!"

James and Elodie were swept into the Grand Salon with the crowd. Scops and his friend Emilie were brought close once, then drawn away. The crowd broke as they got through the doors. The wood nymphs had freshened up their serenade, and some carried long trumpets. Small, gilt tables had been set up along the edges of the room, around a golden dance floor. At the head of the room was a stage, where a few technicians were fiddling with concert equipment. James squinted--one of the technicians was a man with long-ish dark hair and little wire-rimmed glasses. Most people who went to his concerts wouldn't know him this way, but James recognized Teddy's friend Donzo McCormack perfectly well in his "regular bloke" clothes. He considered pulling Elodie up to introduce them, then realized that it wouldn't look any better than running around saying, "Would you like to hear about my father, Harry Potter?"

Instead, he guided her to one of the little tables, and they both took seats. A great flash of light went off, and James looked up, expecting one of the reporters who lined the edges of the room ("Harry Potter's Son Neglects To Pull Chair Out For Date: Are Manners Neglected for the Boy Whose Father Lived?"). Instead, he found a small, compact man with black hair and nearly black eyes. He was wearing fastidious looking robes, and the last thing anyone would imagine was that he made his living in the entertainment business. But he did--this was Maurice Burke, another friend of Teddy's, and Donzo's manager. He also managed Kelly Sweet and Enchantress.

Maurice grinned and sat down. "Sorry for the surprise," he said in English, "but I promised Lupin I'd get a shot of you with an actual date. He said he wouldn't believe it without photographic evidence." He held out his hand to Elodie. "Maurice Burke. You must be Elodie Lejeune. I read the article. It forgot to mention that you're quite lovely."

"Thank you," Elodie said in English. "You're kind."

He sniffed. "I can think of a guitarist who would disagree tonight. I had to find a replacement on very short notice."

"So I saw," James said.

Maurice smirked. "Well, it helps that Kelly's engaged to a guitarist who knows all of her songs."


"Don't make me tongue-tie you; that's not public knowledge." He looked up at the stage fondly, then turned back to the table and spoke French, badly. "So, Mademoiselle, why in the world is a girl like you wasting time with someone like Potter?"

Elodie smiled. "Well, I sorted through my multitude of options and he seemed the least objectionable."

Maurice looked at her blankly. "Er, sorry, my French isn't as good as I pretend."

"She's taking pity on me," James said. "Celia turned me down."

Maurice winced. "Tough blow, mate."

"Well, Elodie rescued me. She can swear quite as well as Celia."

"An important consideration." Something crashed on the stage, and Maurice stood up, looking vexed. "I'd best get back." He picked up Elodie's hand and kissed the air above her fingers. "Enchanté, mademoiselle." Then he gave James a smart salute and headed back to the stage.

"He seems nice," Elodie said.

"He's not bad. If you want, I reckon we could meet Kelly and Donzo later."

She shook her head. "I think I like my imagination of them. They seem so happy and sweet, you know?"

"They are." He shrugged. "Famous people are just people. My dad's pretty well-known, too--"

"That's an understatement."

"--but he's a regular person. Sometimes, you get one of the ones you read about in the papers--where they're nasty to everyone--but most of them are just like anyone else, except they spend more time running away from reporters."

"Is it hard living with that?"

"It's a right pain sometimes," James admitted. "But then, there's the other part."

"What other part?"

"Where I hear all of the great stories, and I can say, 'You know that man who did all of those great things? That'd be my dad.' I know it doesn't really say anything about me, exactly, but it's still cool. Don't tell him I said so."

"You're proud of him."

"Well... yeah."

"Good. You should be." She patted the fringe on her robes. "I'm proud of my mother for sewing well. It's good to be proud."

"I wonder why it's one of the Seven Deadly Sins."

"I think that's a different kind of pride."

James couldn't think of a follow-up, as he didn't really want to get into a religious conversation at the Yule Ball, but he was saved by the arrival of Scops and Emilie, who hadn't found a table yet. They took the other two chairs, and the conversation turned to Quidditch. Emilie seemed a bit scandalized at sitting with Elodie, but made an effort to be polite. Elodie responded to this by softening her death glare somewhat.

The doors opened again, and the wood nymphs with trumpets blew a fanfare. Audric Berenger, who had commentated the First Task, stood on the stage now, and said, "And now, to introduce our guests of honor... the Triwizard Champions! From our host school, Beauxbatons, Titouan Boulanger and his lovely guest, Lucie Périer!"

Titouan entered first, looking serene. The girl with him wasn't a Beauxbatons student; James felt sure he would have noticed someone so beautiful. they took their place about ten feet from the stage.

"From our sister school to the north, Durmstrang, Veronika Horvat, with her escort, Anton Bogdanov."

Veronika and Anton had chosen to honor Durmstrang by wearing their fur-lined scarlet cloaks over their dress robes--James supposed those cloaks would be lost as soon as the cameras turned away; the room was quite warm.

"And our friends from Hogwarts, Celia Dean, and her escort, Neil Overby-Blondin."

Celia and Neil came through the door, Neil looking like he'd rather be under the full moon than the spotlight. Celia had chosen to wear red and gold robes, and she looked better than James had ever seen her look.

Behind him, one of the reporters gasped, "That's the werewolf girl!"

Celia had obviously heard. She turned and gave a sarcastic little wave. Neil grabbed her hand before it turned into a different gesture.

The music started, and the dance began.
25 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)
A spell which transports them in time and space hmmm? Like to a certain cave we know?

Also, can I say (again) how much I love Celia and her way of dealing with her furry problem.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
That could be how it starts, definitely. I was thinking something with the time turners, but now--a totally new invention seems better.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: June 3rd, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh wow that is pretty

the yule ball looks beautiful!

and i'm surprised at Elodie choice of dress robes, but they sound pretty too.

so far so good.

hope nothing spoils the event
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: oh wow that is pretty

Now, why would something spoil the event? ;p
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 3rd, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, Fernwithy! Elodie's dress is just begging to be drawn. What a pleasant section. In real life I don't care about fashion, but in fandoms, it's always fun to imagine what the characters are wearing.

Love, love, love the Maurice and even Donzo cameo. Engaged! How sweet! I remember what happens to Kelly in your universe so I'm glad that they're happy together now.

I'd like to mention that in the last part, the description for Dani's date was too funny. ^_^

I can't wait to read more about the event! You're "on a roll" with "On the Ball"! :-P
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I have an on-again, off-again interest in fashion, mostly nurtured by Project Runway. So I'm kind of interested in the clothes.

Glad you like the chapter!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
That would be "Grand Salon" without an "e", please. ;p
It was nice to get the little physical description of Donzo and Maurice; I admit most of Teddy's classmates are merely names in my mind, rather than characters with identifiable faces and silhouettes, if you get my meaning.
Aww, loved James's mild bragging about his dad - oh, the stories he must have heard!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the correction!

I sometimes worry about the descriptions--I described them on and off during the stories and didn't want to fret too much on their appearances, but I did wonder if it had gotten too far between "pictures"!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

the dresses!!!

Betthanny Anne
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
villanueva went with her body guard?

poor girl

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
At least that's James's impression.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
nice to see you back maurice

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
:Maurice waves:
ladyelaine From: ladyelaine Date: June 3rd, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
While I'm not a Harry Potter fanfic reader, my daughter is. I gave her the website for your stories, and she says they are absolutely engrossing! I think you've got a new fan. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad she likes them!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
happy to see Elodie getting along with people.

and james being a better date than his dad was.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
"Getting along" may be overstating, but at least she's not actively antagonizing anyone.

And, well, Harry didn't exactly set the bar very high on the first date front!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

wizard wrock!

are you going to write out some songs??!!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not a great lyricist, but I may try a verse or two.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Can I say how impressed I am at Elodie's mom making that dress without magic?

And it's nice of Elodie to turn down her death glare.

And, sheesh, Unnamed Reporter Dude, could you be any dimmer? You're acting like you're surprised she showed.

If there must be an incident with a red liquid that's nearly impossible to wash out (it doesn't have to be blood), please, let his dress robes be the ones ruined by it.

willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 4th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, James seems to be having a somewhat better time than Harry did at his Yule Ball. And it's lovely to see Maurice and Donzo make cameos here. Celia and Neil's entrance seems to have caused quite a stir--and the evening's just begun.

Looking forward to the rest of the Ball, of course!
xtineebee From: xtineebee Date: June 10th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Finally caught up = and rewarded w/ a wee cameo from my favs, Donzo and Maurice. Love the admission his French is not as good as he would pretend it is, that would be me lol.

As for the potentially fiddling with the map? That sounds wonderfully dangerous and promising.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
well that's unexpected. Celia actually trying to get along.

but a nice change, and good character progress.

~Alex Wells
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
so sorry

I meant to say Elodie not Celia

Alex Wells
25 comments or Leave a comment